Google recently introduced some enhancements to its search engine aimed at making life easier for mobile users. This includes the indexing of app content, a process that actually began two years ago. Now you can receive information from both apps and web pages when performing a mobile search. They even raise the ante by streaming an app, allowing user interaction without having to head to the Google Play store to perform a download.
This new functionality does come with a price, as you need to be aware of your bandwidth usage. You don’t want streaming apps to put you over your monthly data cap. Let’s take a closer look at the details on Google streaming apps.
Seamless Search Results — Apps and Web Content
Google’s new mobile search functionality — introduced in late November — seamlessly mixes results driven from both app content as well as the traditional web pages. It automatically detects whether or not you’ve previously installed a mobile app and offers you the option to stream the app if desired by simply clicking on a link within the search results.
The latter feature is especially important if you have a limited amount of data left in your monthly allotment. Nobody wants apps to automatically stream on their mobile device, as it uses extra bandwidth while potentially bogging down the mobile web experience.
The app itself runs on Google’s cloud-based servers while you interact with the program in real-time. This minimizes the amount of data to be streamed and might even save some compared to a download. Usability could suffer depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
The indexed app content is also leveraged within Google Now, the personal assistant included with Android. This makes finding a cool restaurant or something fun to do when traveling a more rewarding experience. Here’s one side of the mobile competition where Apple’s Siri is at a disadvantage without its own popular search engine.
The Number of Streaming Apps is Limited at Launch
Google partnered with a limited number of app developers for the launch of the new streaming functionality. They include: Hotel Tonight, New York Subway, Weather, My Horoscope, Visual Anatomy Free, Chimani, Useful Knots, and Daily Horoscope. This looks to be a winning concept for the search engine giant, so expect more apps to go online with the service in the coming months.